The H. Kenneth Schueler Patient Advocacy Compass Award recognizes Ken’s role in defining and growing patient advocacy as a valuable service that improves the lives of its client-patients.
In his name and honor, it supports the growth of this career, and the work of individuals who wish to succeed by following in his footsteps.
Ken’s work, like a compass, guides them, giving them direction.
Who Was Ken Schueler?
Considered the Father of Private Patient Advocacy, Ken Schueler began offering his patient advocacy services in 2000, a few years after his own successful battle with Stage IV Lymphoma. His work was focused on helping his patient-clients tailor their own treatment decisions based on a combination of their wishes and needs, based on the best and most current evidence available.
Ken defined “evidence” as any approach that was beneficial to his patients, regardless of what mainstream medicine might recommend. He often presented options to his patients that included not only pharmaceutical or surgical choices, but complementary or alternative options as well.
Ken’s earlier career, prior to establishing his patient advocacy practice, was healthcare-based, although not clinical in nature. His advocacy work shifted his perspective from global to individual. Ken’s expertise was admired and sought after by not only patients and their families, but by professionals – doctors, practitioners and scientists – too.
As patient advocacy and navigation began to be recognized as a career path by others, Ken became a leader in the movement. As time allowed, he mentored new advocates who hoped to help patients in the same integrative framework Ken offered. Among his contributions to others who might choose advocacy as a career was a Code of Ethics. His original code was modified and adopted by the National Association of Health Advocacy Consultants for its members. A more extensive version was also made available to all advocates who believe in its tenets by the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates.
Ken’s devotion to, and passion for, his collaborations with his patients and his support for the growing advocacy field was evident in everything he did on their behalf.
In early 2011, Ken passed away from pancreatic cancer, a disease he knew all too well from the research he did for many of the patients he had supported over the years.
The H. Kenneth Schueler Patient Advocacy Compass Award recognizes Ken’s role in defining and growing patient advocacy as a valuable service that improves the lives of its client-patients. In his name and honor, it supports the growth of this career, and the work of individuals who wish to succeed by following in his footsteps. Ken’s work, like a compass, guides them, giving them direction.
The criteria for selecting winners of the award reflect Ken’s career and ideals:
- personalized approach
- integrative choices
- evidence-based proof
- ethical performance and
The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates, the professional organization for private patient and health advocates and navigators, whose membership supports the AdvoConnection Directory, is the granting institution of the H. Kenneth Schueler Compass Award. Ken was a charter member of the organization.
Judges for each year’s award are previous award winners, all highly regarded advocates and leaders in the advocacy profession, plus Ken’s daughter, Alexandra, and the director of The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates.